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45-216. Public policy that records be open. (a) It is declared to be the public policy of the state that public records shall be open for inspection by any person unless otherwise provided by this act, and this act shall be liberally construed and applied to promote such policy.

(b) Nothing in this act shall be construed to require the retention of a public record nor to authorize the discard of a public record.

History: L. 1984, ch. 187, ยง 2; February 9.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Agency Access and Disclosure: Kansas and Federal," David L. Ryan, 56 J.K.B.A. No. 6, 8, 11 (1987).

"Ethics and the Government Lawyer," Bruce W. Kent, 62 J.K.B.A. No. 2, 30, 34 (1993).

"Assessing the Quality of a Water Right," John C. Peck, 70 J.K.B.A. No. 5, 26 (2001).

"Kansas Sunshine Law: How Bright Does It Shine Now? The Kansas Open Meetings and Open Records Acts," Theresa "Terry" Marcel, 72 J.K.B.A. No. 5, 28 (2003).

"Disappearing Fee Awards and Civil Enforcement of Public Records Laws," Katrina G. Hall, 52 K.L.R. 721 (2004).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Groundwater management districts; annual meetings of eligible voters; affidavits of eligibility to vote; certain records not required to be open; information of a personal nature; board of directors; qualifications. 85-48.

Records open to public; disclosure of coroner's records. 86-5.

Records subject to disclosure. 86-43.

Public agency defined. 86-48.

Open records; abstracts or copies thereof; reasonableness of fees. 87-4.

Access to records filed under U.C.C. 87-50.

Hospital board member has right of access to personnel file of staff physician or other county hospital employee. 87-109.

Prohibited and illegal uses of names and addresses derived from public records. 87-137.

Criminal history record information; disclosure of pending charges and scheduled court date. 87-145.

Records open to public; correspondence received by members of public bodies. 87-149.

Laws, journals and public information; records open to public; registration of attorneys. 87-168.

Racing commission; licensure; open records act; confidential information. 88-3.

Municipal hospitals; open records act; employee names and salaries. 88-61.

Open records act; certain laboratory records not required to be open. 88-88.

Identity of persons transported by emergency medical vehicles; physician-patient privilege. 88-101.

Letter of notice to attorneys who fail to timely pay registration fee. 88-117.

Disclosure of voter registration lists; lists on computers. 88-152.

Department of commerce; low-income housing tax credit program. 89-46.

Certain records not open to public; personnel records; invasion of privacy. 91-50.

Open public records; ability of state agent to contractually close record not otherwise closed by law; legislative post audit; access to records, limitations. 91-116.

Open public records; requests; responses; refusals; fees. 93-126.

Confidentiality of information concerning juvenile offenders age 14 and older. 95-94.

Open public records; lists of names and addresses; use of names for purpose of attempting to purchase property or services from named persons. 96-68.

Election petitions, once filed, are generally open public records. 97-22.

Records of home addresses of public employees may be closed. 97-52.

Open public records; board of accountancy; correspondence. 97-76.

State bank commissioner; notification of intent to establish a subsidiary; open public records. 98-5.

Consulting contract not closed under Kansas open records act as personnel record. 1999-55.

Members of medical advisory board are "officers and employees" for purposes of Kansas open records act. 2000-8.

Prison health services is not a public agency. 2001-22.

Membership list of Coffeyville City Golf Course is an open record. 2001-33.

Electronic mail (e-mail) may qualify as "public record" under KORA but e-mail between individual city commissioners, which is not made or maintained through city resources, is not a public record. 2002-1.

Independent of KORA, school board is obligated to publish names, positions and salaries of superintendent and department heads of school district. 2003-3.

Insurance rate filings submitted to Kansas insurance department are open records even though such rates in bid proposal. 2008-3.

County public record; contract with private company to provide access to records by computer. 2009-14.

Records identifying unpaid accrued vacation and sick leave of public employees may be closed, while records of payments made to employees for vacation or sick leave are open. 2010-3.

When SRS delegates administration of certain assistance to another agency, that agency is bound by the same requirements of confidentiality regarding the information concerning applicants and recipients. 2010-5.

HIPAA preempts the KORA requirements of providing addresses of individuals in custody in a treatment facility. 2011-5.


1. Provisions of this act not retroactive; due to repeal of K.S.A. 45-201 et seq. and enactment hereof, personnel files specifically excepted. Tew v. Topeka Police & Fire Civ. Serv. Comm'n, 237 Kan. 96, 102, 105, 697 P.2d 1279 (1985).

2. Legislative intent considered in reviewing purpose of act; disclosure of criminal investigation records. Harris Enterprises, Inc. v. Moore, 241 Kan. 59, 60, 62, 63, 734 P.2d 1083 (1987).

3. Disclosure of K.B.I. reports to racing license applicants as permissible under K.S.A. 74-8804 and subject to KORA (K.S.A. 45-215 et seq.) examined. Kansas Racing Management, Inc. v. Kansas Racing Comm'n, 244 Kan. 343, 352, 770 P.2d 423 (1989).

4. Disclosure of employee addresses to union as bargaining unit examined; disclosure permitted under facts of case. State Dept. of SRS v. Public Employee Relations Board, 249 Kan. 163, 167, 815 P.2d 66 (1991).

5. District coroner's office and investigative materials, working papers and records subject to open records act. Burroughs v. Thomas, 23 Kan. App. 2d 769, 771, 937 P.2d 12 (1997).

6. County hospital not exempt under K.S.A. 45-221(a)(4) or (15) from disclosing records concerning nonemployee doctors. Southwest Anesthesia Serv., P.A. v. Southwest Med. Ctr., 23 Kan. App. 2d 950, 951, 937 P.2d 1257 (1997).

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